About a month after the death of former Chief of Staff, Mallam Abba Kyari due to COVID-19 complications, President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Professor Ibrahim Agboola Gambari.
In a tweet by Bashir Ahmad, Buhari’s personal assistant on New Media, Boss Mustapha Secretary to the Government of the Federation announced Gambari’s appointment during the first virtual Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday, May 13, 2020.
The new Chief of Staff participated in the FEC meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja where he performed his first official duty. Speaking with State House Correspondents, Gambari thanked President Buhari for the appointment and disclosed his guiding principle will be “to serve the President to the best of my ability.”
While felicitating with Gambari on his new appointment, former vice president of Nigeria and 2019 Presidential Candidate for PDP Atiku Abubakar in a tweet said: “It is my hope and expectation and those of millions of Nigerians that you will deploy your varied skills garnered over the years in the service of our nation.”
An indigene of Kwara state in Nigeria, Gambari was the pioneer Chancellor of his state’s University KWASU in Ilorin. Professor Gambari bagged his first degree from the London School of Economics, specialising in International Relations. He obtained his Masters and Doctoral degree in Political Science/International Relations from Columbia University, New York, USA.
Over the years, Gambari has had an illustrious career spanning academia, government and international diplomacy. He has held numerous leadership positions (both national and international) and gathered experiences that ratify his competency. Gambari was appointed Chairman of the United Nations Special Committee Against Apartheid in 1990, a position he held till 1994. He was also the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the United Nations in 1990 serving there for 9 years.
Between 1999 and 2005, the new Chief of Staff served the United Nations as it’s first Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser to the Secretary-General in Africa. At about the same time, Gambari was the Resident Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Mission to Angola. He operated as the head of the UN Department of Political Affairs between 2005 and 2007. Professor Gambari also served as a one-time Minister for External Affairs (1984-1985), joining the African Union at the time as a national delegate.
Professor Ibrahim A. Gambari has received several academic and national honours including the “Commander of the Federal Republic of Nigeria” (CFR) and the “Order of the Champion of the Oliver R. Tambo” (OCORT) of South Africa.